Architectural Retreats That Soothe the Soul


Summer is a time of play and rest, which naturally leads us to reflect on the past and the long months ahead. It’s a time to recharge — but these beautiful meditation spaces and architectural retreats offer a place to replenish mind, body, and spirit any day of the year. Allow these intimate sanctuaries and tranquil havens to soothe your restless soul.

Firm Allergutendinge created the Spirit Shelter, an homage to the Arcadia region of Greece. Greek mythology states that Arcadia was home to the god Pan (connected to the wilds and fertility). Renaissance art drew a connection between Arcadia and the wilderness as well. Designers hope the transportable Spirit Shelter will be viewed as an “emotional hideaway” — a place people can exist in harmony with nature.

A minimalist shelter from Iranian architect Pouya Khazaeli Parsa, made of bamboo and topped with dry rice plants that expand when wet and help prevent rain seeping into the interior. The natural materials also allow the domed structure to breathe. Bamboo mats are comfortable spots for meditation. Best of all, this shelter can perform double duty during emergencies thanks to its wind-resistant construction.

Earth, air, fire, water: you have all the elements in one space with this peaceful meditation sanctuary.

Ok, little Forest Pond House. We’re officially in love. TDO Architecture designed this modern play and meditation space. The contrasting light and dark design — composed of wood, glass, and copper — mirrors the surrounding woods.

A treehouse for adults, set in the rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada that you can rent for fun or relaxation. “Built on vision and engineering these handcrafted spheres are suspended like pendants from a web of rope. They occupy a truly unique place in the world while providing a habitat for the un-tamed spirit that exists in us all,” the website states.

Architect Jeffery Poss’ Victor Meditation Hut is set on the edge of a quiet Illinois lake and is the perfect escape for tea and nature gazing. The vaulted roof reflects the surrounding pond onto the ceiling of the interior, but also has a practical use. There’s a central channel that helps funnel rainwater back into the environment. Low horizontal windows are perfect for meditation sessions. The minimalist interior devotes a nice space for preparing drinks and light meals.

If you prefer to unwind with a partner, this intimate shelter allows you to get a little closer — with that someone special and the surrounding trees. The simple construction boasts a breathtaking view.

Named Nido, this modern micro cabin overlooks the stunning lakes in Finland. Embrace the view from the inside thanks to a large, slanted window that offers plenty of natural light. The loft bedroom and main floor make maximum use of the minimalist space — soothing and airy.

Imagine yoga and tea on the deck of this gorgeous wraparound cabin from architect Todd Saunders. The rustic design was inspired by boat construction.

Meet you at the bird-watching tower. The 50-foot high wooden structure rests on a bird sanctuary and accommodates a large number of visitors, but we’re going to pretend it belongs to us.